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Madikwe Safari Lodge
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Reviews (666)
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Reviewed November 3, 2012

Scratch one from the bucket list, my wife and I have been watching the travel deals relating to a trip to South Africa which included a Safari to one of the big game reserves. Lion tours offered what were looking for and it was booked in no time (12 to 28 Oct 2012), as we had to fly out of New York we added that to the trip and added two days at the front and three at the back of the trip. For those who have not been to New York well you are in for an experience. We stayed at the Candlewood hotel in New york which is approx. two blocks from Times Square, the hotel itself is clean and the staff is friendly and helpful. It is amazing the number of people they can fit into a city especially around the Time square area and it is a must see. I did find that when it came to eating in the area it was somewhat expensive so look around and move away from the Times square area a couple of blocks and you will find more reasonable and good tasting food. Getting around from the airports as there are two put away around $240 for the trips they are flat rates, from JFK to the hotel was $65 from the other was $45 each way. See the sights while
there some are free, some cost and some need reservations to see so check it out before hand Now for the trip to South Africa, it is a bottom numbing 15 hrs in the air and then another 2 hours to Cape Town. We flew with SA airlines, the planes are modern, clean, the staff helpful and the food served was tasty and more than enough. On arrival at we tranfered to the flight to Cape Town and were in the air approx. two hours later arriving in Cape Town where we were met by the reps for lion tours and taken to The Twelve Apostles Hotel. For those that have been here, need I say more. My wife and I have traveled to many travel destinations around the world and have stayed at many hotels put forward as a 5 star hotel but I can say with all honesty that this is a true 5 star. From the moment you enter the lobby until you leave the staff tries it hardest to make your stay the best you have ever had. From the meals ( some of the best I have ever had) to the rooms and to the staff it is all first class. If they can make it happened they will try their best to make it so. Because we were on a tour we were given a nice room at the rear of the hotel but after traveling so far and this being maybe the only time I was to be in South Africa we asked to be upgraded to a suite. I would recommend this and with a little compromise we came to a added fee that was acceptable to both. The suite we stayed in was #201 which had a green space in the front of the room along with one of the best sea views I seen in a while. The bathroom itself was very large and along with the nice lower sitting room made the stay even better. The only warning I can give relating to the hotel is watch the stairs in the hot tub in the spa, the first two steps are okay but the thrid drops approx. 4 feet without warning, they shoud have a sign warning of this. While in Cape Town see the sights, the harbour area has a great eating and shopping area, one of the shops to check on is Jewellery Art by Simon SHONE, his three dimensional art is amazing enough that we bought a piece from him. Other sights to see is Table Mountain if you see it clear when looking at it get up there right away as the ocean breezes blow in the clouds all the time.Unfortunatly after a four night stay we had to leave this fine hotel to continue on our trip but it was with regrets that we did so as I stated earlier if you are in Cape Town this is the place to stay, this hotel is part of the Red Carnation Hotel group. The next part of our trip took us back to Joburg and then onto a 12 seater aircraft to the Madikwe Safari Lodge which is a approx. 45 min flight. The hotel itself sits at the bottom of a large (if you are from western Canada its a large hill from elsewhere it may be a mountain). The lodge itself is impressive with a number of private cabins trailing off in several directions, the cabins are private and have a dipping pool, outdoor shower if you want, and a sitting area. If you want to do the nudie thing go for it as you have the cabin and outside area to yourself . Everything is included at the lodge so sample the differernt meals that are offered and are excellent, I would avoid the salads as I had one and paid dearly for it next day so you have been warned. Remember where you are and that is a wildlife reserve, security will walk you to your cabins at night just in case and do not wander at night. When going out on the deck make sure you have it to yourself and not some of the wild life as experienced by some on an earlier Safari who has lions drinking from their dipping pool. We were there just as they were coming into their summer so bugs were at a minimun but gents be the hero check the rooms everynight for the large spiders and milipeds that seem to wander in at night. As for the Safari you are out very early in the morning and late at night lots of wild life to see and take pictures of and not from a distance either very close encounters. The guides are knowledgeable and very commited to the safety of you and that of the animals. You have in your travels in the game reserve while you are out morning brunches, afternoon teas and late night snacks and drinks. It was exceptional and I would recommend this to anyone who is considering a trip here. Just a couple of notes, shame on both the South African Goverment and the Chinese Goverment for not putting the stop to the trade of RHINO Horn,while we were in South Africa a newpaper article printed a story on how so far this year 479 Rhinos had been slaughtered for their horns, they state 479 but it is much higher. 2nd Beware the VAT (valued added Tax) they say that you can claim it when you leave the country but they don`t mention the service charge for claiming it, I had 204 Rand to claim, they charged me 21 Rand to claim it and a further 40 Rand to cash the cheque they issued. Further don`t pack the stuff you bought deep in your suitcases they want to see what you bought a reciept is not good enough.CWP7721

Room Tip: Going on a safari.....pick a truck with canopies and seat vs. benches. You are out there long periods of time and its easier on the butt.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank CWP7721
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Stayed in Lelapa area on 10/12. Food was excellent and diverse. Rooms were as nice as the brochure pics. Bugs? You spray a little stuff at night and the room was perfect. Hey, you're in the bush!. Plenty of helpful staff-amiable and available.
Game drives were crazy good. Our guide, Andre, was an expert. He knows every animal, tree, shrub, bug, and bird. He lives his work. We saw more game than all other guides combined! Truly world class guy.
Rooms were very clean and well attended. Spa was nice, too. I would return here in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: Lelapa was perfect.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lermndo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

I stayed in Madikwe for a weekend with a group of friends and it was amazing. This was my first game watching or safari experience. We had a group of 13 people and there were 6 staff members dedicated to us. The rooms are amazing...a combination of rustic and luxury. The food was really good as well. The safari's were really exciting. The drivers/rangers really know their stuff. The cars are really safe, so you will neve feel exposed. This place is amazing...and time flies...you spend most of your time on the safaris (one at 5 AM and another at 4 PM), sleeping and eating. At night, they organize parties for guests to mingle and chat. I totally recommend this place....for couples, friends or families. I would not do safari any other way.

Room Tip: make sure you try out the outdoors showers...just you and wild
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank bensorj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

We just want to send a big thank you to all the staff from Madikwe Safari Lodge. We stayed at Ditaba Lodge this weekend and it was the best experience of our lives! We were treated like VIP's and the food was amazing! We will recommend this lodge to anyone. The rooms were beautiful and the service extraordinary! I almost cried when we had to leave because i'm going to miss the staff. Our game drives and game ranger Billy was also one of the best we experienced in a long time.

Thank you again and we will be visiting again very soon!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Chantelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Madikwe was wonderful. Stayed a few nights with the entire family, including our 5 year old son and 4 month old baby. The service, warmth, and hospitality was genuine and inspiring. The food was delicious. The guiding was superb. The area was really wild, with wild dog sightings a highlight of our stay. My son loved his buddy Aubry and our ranger André. And of course, the lodge was beautiful. We were truly sad to leave....

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tracie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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